With the right prenatal education and preparation, a successful VBAC is not only possible but probable! More than 75% of attempted VBACs result in a vaginal delivery, but it’s so important to set yourself up early for the best possible chance. In addition to the suggestions below, some other things you can do are:
Seek out childbirth education specific to parents who want to attempt a VBAC. If the facility where you plan to birth does not offer this, look for a private childbirth educator who can tailor their course content to your specific information. If you know other parents hoping for a VBAC, you could consider going in together to pay for a private class. Not sure where to start? If you have a doula, they can point you in the right direction.
Try to think positively about your body and its abilities. After your previous cesarean birth, you may have begun to feel that your body betrayed you or that it isn’t capable of giving birth. This is not true - your body was built for birth, and this pregnancy is a new beginning. Write out affirmations and read them often to maintain your motivation and determination.
Join a cesarean and/or VBAC support group. A doula, midwife, birth center, or hospital may be able to refer you to a local group. If there isn’t one in your area, there are many options through social media. Another option is to seek out other VBAC parents and start your own group.
Learn all you can about what events led to your previous cesarean. This means requesting and reviewing your medical records. Some people find during this process that their surgery may not have been “emergent” or necessary. If this is the case, it can bring up complicated emotions that need to be worked through before you attempt your VBAC. But the process can also help you frame your prior cesarean in context and may help you disconnect those feelings from your current pregnancy.
For more information on VBAC, visit the International Cesarean Awareness Network at https://www.ican-online.org/ or on Instagram at @icanbirth.